Why did China land the Chang’e-4 rover on the moon? What was it supposed to accomplish or explore?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, I think your question could have also a good political answer on the politics.stackexchange.com . Here you can get only a space technology answer. (Reviewers: it is NOT a closure suggestion, the space technology aspect is well-answerable and ontopic) $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ Did you search the internet for your answer before posting? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ Aaron, note that they landed it on the far side of the moon, which has never been done before. If you're not aware of that, that was the main novelty. (An important sub issue is, they're the first with a moon-orbiting-radio-relay satellite, in support of being on the far side.) $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ NOtice by the way that this five year old question now seems to be answered! space.stackexchange.com/questions/1656 $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ A one hour CGTN show, in English! youtube.com/watch?v=Vg9GBSHfESk $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


The mission objectives are:

The main scientific objective of CE-4 is to provide scientific data for lunar far side research, including: 1) general spatial environmental study of lunar far side;2) general research on the surface, shallow layer and deep layer of lunar far side;3) detection of low frequency radio on lunar far side using Low Frequency Radio Detector, which would be the first time of using such frequency band in lunar exploration history.

Title: Scientific Objectives of China Chang E 4 CE-4 Lunar Far-side Exploration Mission

Authors: Zhang, Hongbo; Zeng, Xingguo; Chen, Wangli


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    $\begingroup$ What about the political objectives? $\endgroup$
    – Innovine
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Innovine political objectives of research that's not directly economically beneficial are always the same: to show off how country is rich, powerful, advanced and dedicated to do it. Whatever "it" is. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ I understand and fully agree. But as its probably the biggest reason why they are doing it, I think it should be addressed in the answers. $\endgroup$
    – Innovine
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Innovine What political objectives could there possibly be? There's nothing special at all about landing a rover on the moon. I doubt any other countries care for any reason other than science. $\endgroup$
    – user91988
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 17:36

Why did China land a rover on the moon? (Chang'e-3)

To get to the other side! (Chang'e 4)

Hover cursor above to reveal answer.

(Hint: analogous to Why did the chicken cross the road?)

But seriously folks, here is a one hour English CGTN broadcast of the mission, going into great detail on the justification and goals.

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    $\begingroup$ good one, old chap ! :) that's a classic $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ +1 :) thats fun! $\endgroup$
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 16:16

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